Giampaolo Bandini

Francesco Geminiani, Tomasso Giordani: Sonate per chitarra e basso continuo

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This release from Italy's Tactus label is perhaps even more specialized than the common run of Tactus releases, covering an 18th century instrument called the English guitar that had only a tiny repertoire, a good part of which is recorded here. The English guitar had 10 strings in six courses, tuned in an open C major. The only major (or at least moderately major) composer who wrote for it was Francesco Geminiani, who, like Paganini, was known as a guitarist as well as for his violin skills. His sonatas consist of from two to five movements, most of them little more than a minute in length and devoted to the solution of some technical problem. You hear a lot of C major, and the minimal contrast between the guitar and the harpsichord continuo also contributes to the lack of differentiation; one wonders whether a different kind of continuo group might have been used. The two-movement Classical-era sonatas of the little-known Tommaso Giordani ought to stir up the attention of guitar enthusiasts; however, what has by now become a Classical accompanimental group has a mostly rhythmic function, and the long slow movements effectively blend sparkling guitar runs into a larger structure. The relaxed fluency of guitarist Giampaolo Bandini is another plus throughout, and sound is above average for Tactus releases. Recommended for serious guitar fans.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata in do maggiore
1 1:22
2 1:29
3 1:03
Sonata in do minore
4 1:25
5 0:45
6 1:19
7 1:43
8 1:45
Sonata in re maggiore
9 2:04
10 0:51
11 0:41
12 1:13
13 1:19
Sonata in re minore
14 1:26
15 2:20
Sonata in mi minore
16 1:38
17 1:11
Sonata in sol minore
18 0:55
19 1:52
Sonata in do minore
20 4:28
21 2:21
Sonata in do maggiore
22 8:12
23 3:26
Sonata in do minore
24 7:05
25 1:40
Sonata in la minore
26 4:09
27 5:18
blue highlight denotes track pick